Turns out that Baker Mayfield's thank you message to Cleveland Browns fans amid the team's interest in Deshaun Watson still might have been necessary after all.
No, Watson is not heading to Cleveland. But, Mayfield reportedly now wants out. Mayfield has requested a trade, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.
The Browns, however, reportedly have told Mayfield's agent that they will not accommodate his request, reports Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.
Mayfield posted the thank you message to fans on Tuesday as the Browns were exploring the possibility of trading for Watson, who had asked to be dealt in early 2021 and then missed the season after a series of sexual assault, harassment and misconduct allegations were levied against him. Last Friday, a grand jury in Harris County, Texas, declined to indict Watson on criminal charges.
The Browns were one of four teams to meet this week with Watson, who has a full no-trade clause, but were reportedly informed on Thursday that they were out of the running.
That made it seem as if Mayfield would remain the team's starting quarterback, making the thank you message to fans a premature sentiment.
Mayfield, Cleveland's starting quarterback since being selected first overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, was unhappy that the Browns were seeking his replacement and is interested in playing for the Colts, Kay Cabot reports.
Mayfield had a career year in 2020 while leading the Browns to their first playoff victory since 1995.
The 26-year-old regressed last season during an injury plagued year, recording career lows of 3,010 passing yards and 17 touchdowns in 14 games as Cleveland finished 8-9.
The Browns, who released Odell Beckham Jr. in November, averaged just 195.3 passing yards per game last season, which was sixth worst in the league. They acquired Amari Cooper from the Cowboys on Saturday. That gives Mayfield, who is set to enter the final year of his rookie contract, a legitimate top receiver for next season should he remain the starting quarterback in Cleveland.